Month: February 2017

Managing the Mail: A Mini-blog

When communications with school, the LA and other agencies regularly affect your day... How to manage the: panic, shaking, overwhelming worry, excessive (sometimes, but only sometimes, necessary) catastophophic thinking, nausea, faintness ..... and other debilitating symptoms that can come on at the sound of a ringtone, the flash of an email on your screen or … Continue reading Managing the Mail: A Mini-blog

Advertisements
When ‘Mum’ Seems Anxious

When ‘Mum’ Seems Anxious

A guest blog by Helen and Jack's Mum ‘I suspect the problem is her Mum who is really overanxious’. ‘I only spoke to Mum once but she seemed very over stressed’. I knew what was being said about me in that meeting because my friend was sat there, not as my friend but in her role … Continue reading When ‘Mum’ Seems Anxious

SEN Support in Schools – We’re Missing the Point

SEN Support in Schools – We’re Missing the Point

Every school-age child with a special educational need (SEN) should have a written plan of support.  Every single one.  That is my interpretation of the SEND Code of Practice (SEND COP) and I will explain why.  Published in June 2014, Chapter 6 of the SEND COP describes the provision of SEN Support in Schools.  It … Continue reading SEN Support in Schools – We’re Missing the Point

The Penny Dropping

The Penny Dropping

A guest post by Rosie and Jo's Dad That sound you can hear, it’s a penny dropping. When Rosie was first diagnosed with Asperger’s, people kept explaining things she was finding difficult, how she saw the world in a different way, how she wasn’t picking up on “normal” clues and therefore communication was difficult and … Continue reading The Penny Dropping

The Absence of Critical Thinking

The Absence of Critical Thinking

The best education I received was led by exceptional Nurse Teachers and Leaders.  They had PhDs and they taught us to think, question and evaluate carefully the information that was presented to us. Yesterday a bizarre collection of statements was compiled in a document and published, then seemingly inadequate reporting of this followed making me aware again, of … Continue reading The Absence of Critical Thinking

SEND Parent = Agitator?

SEND Parent = Agitator?

By Rosie and Jo’s mum There’s a new word for parents like me. I realised that the education system was failing my children very badly, I found the guidelines their educators should be following and I spent time, energy and, eventually, money on making sure their needs were met well enough for them to have … Continue reading SEND Parent = Agitator?

Nobody’s Problem

Nobody’s Problem

These are the children that have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition, often following an assessment initiated by parents asking for help.  They lurch from one day to the next, barely coping, just about surviving - but not living,  not really.  This is not a childhood you would wish on anyone.  Their parent's request … Continue reading Nobody’s Problem

We Won’t Treat your Child’s Mental Health Problems – ‘they are normal in autism’

We Won’t Treat your Child’s Mental Health Problems – ‘they are normal in autism’

Oh….. so that makes it ok then? Of course not.  Yet it happens often and, it seems to me, with increasing frequency. No one is born with an anxiety disorder. It isn’t surprising that children with Autism are prone to mental health problems.  To start with schools are designed for neurotypical mini-adults.  They aren’t great, … Continue reading We Won’t Treat your Child’s Mental Health Problems – ‘they are normal in autism’

We can’t tell education what to do

We can’t tell education what to do

By Rosie and Jo’s mum I have been working with health and education professionals to get my children’s educational needs met for over ten years now. As time has gone on and their needs have increased, the opinions and recommendations from health professionals have been hard and harder to obtain in writing or at least … Continue reading We can’t tell education what to do

When School Staff Refuse to Accept a Diagnosis – some key questions to ask

Many things have shocked me to the core these last few years and one of them is the apparent ease with which people trained to teach can decide that Health Care Professionals that are trained to diagnose are wrong. How can that be possible? My first experience of this was when Peter was 6 and … Continue reading When School Staff Refuse to Accept a Diagnosis – some key questions to ask

Dyslexia Diagnosis– an embarrassing catalogue of errors and poor practice

Dyslexia Diagnosis– an embarrassing catalogue of errors and poor practice

It’s Year 3.  Peter is 7.  He has Asperger’s and needs a consistent routine so we had to read every night (or not at all).  So, he had read more than many other children for a few years now.   He liked books and hated playtimes - wanted to spend them “sitting on a step looking … Continue reading Dyslexia Diagnosis– an embarrassing catalogue of errors and poor practice

Please Don’t Suggest a Sticker Chart

By Rosie and Jo’s mum. Those words seem so innocent yet they can feel so loaded. This is the kind of advice parents generally pick up at toddler groups when dealing with the terrible twos. We see it on TV, in parenting magazines and on parenting forums. There can’t be many parents out there who … Continue reading Please Don’t Suggest a Sticker Chart

How We Can Help Each Other?

How We Can Help Each Other?

Is it Unconditional Positive Regard? Not a post about what we need, or are entitled to, this time but more about what we can offer. I’ve been reflecting recently on what some friends of mine might need most when they are struggling to manage difficult feelings towards their own child. Sometimes these children, because of … Continue reading How We Can Help Each Other?

Meetings About Me Without Me

One way or another my life will change quite significantly today.  A meeting is being held without me, or any direct contributions from me, but the outcome will be huge whatever the decision.  No-one in the meeting knows me or my son, Peter, but decisions are being made about him which will affect the rest … Continue reading Meetings About Me Without Me

You Are Not Asking for an EHC Plan

You Are Not Asking for an EHC Plan

By Rosie and Jo’s mum “She’ll never get a statement.” The confident words of various school staff to me on the occasions that I raised the possibility of requesting a statutory assessment for one of my daughters. They were always absolutely sure they were right. At the times of the conversations, both girls were making … Continue reading You Are Not Asking for an EHC Plan

How Far Behind Does She Have to be for an EHC Assessment?

“He is 2 years behind but the SENCo says he won’t ‘qualify’ for an EHC assessment.”  “School say she is doing well in set 3.” It seems to me that this is misinformation and not in any way within the spirit of the SEN Code of Practice that all schools are obliged to follow: The SEN … Continue reading How Far Behind Does She Have to be for an EHC Assessment?

Engaging with Professionals when you are a Parent with Asperger’s

Yesterday's guest post highlighted difficulties that many have found shocking.   There is one element, however, that she has reflected on more here: that of being a parent when you are "on the spectrum" yourself. Further to the “Surprise Child Protection Meeting” incident where I went to a meeting expecting ‘help’ and after arriving found … Continue reading Engaging with Professionals when you are a Parent with Asperger’s

The ‘Surprise’ Child Protection Meeting

It was snowing, I felt empty as he packed his last bag into the car, this was my new life as a single mum to three. They would see their Dad, and there was a glimmer of hope that social care would finally provide the help we had been begging for to prevent this break … Continue reading The ‘Surprise’ Child Protection Meeting

Important Advice from a Mum (Seclusion Rooms)

The Use of Seclusion. A guest blog from a very experienced mum who was shocked to have been caught out.  She wanted to warn others so they could learn from her experience and she shared the information below on social media.  Straight away others commented to say how important they felt it was that this information is … Continue reading Important Advice from a Mum (Seclusion Rooms)

Alien In The Playground

Welcome to Jon's Mum who has written a Guest Blog 🙂 I looked up at the kitchen clock, it was almost that time again.  It was the same every weekday at 3pm and I’d have that awful lurch in my stomach.  Not that I was wasn’t looking forward to picking Jon up from school, but … Continue reading Alien In The Playground

Getting What You Asked For Can Be A Double-edged Sword

By Rosie and Jo’s mum. Life as a parent of a child with additional needs is a series of challenges and our other blog posts are testament to the number of battles we are forced to fight. Some of the battles are for things we never wanted in the first place.  That might sound strange … Continue reading Getting What You Asked For Can Be A Double-edged Sword

Autism Blindness

Autism blindness (definition) Very sarcastic and written when I was in a bad place - please forgive me. Autism blindness is an affliction suffered largely by primary school teachers who, despite normal intelligence, are unable to see a number of autistic traits when they are present right in front of them.  These traits may include; … Continue reading Autism Blindness

About The Story – It Must Be Mum

About this story In just ten months Peter went from a boy who attended mainstream school unsupported, costing the taxpayer nothing in additional school resource, to being so broken by his school experiences he needed to be admitted to a psychiatric unit at just 9 years old.  As a result he is unlikely to ever … Continue reading About The Story – It Must Be Mum

It Must Be Mum – Part 8

  This final part (well I may upload the postscript..).  This says it all really..... 'HOWEVER, ALL WAS NOT WHAT IT SEEMED.  What the Finance Group (MARG) did next, even the most hardened SEN Warriors will struggle to believe.'   Earlier parts of the book can be found here.   Chapter 6  Is It Really For … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 8

It Must Be Mum – Part 7

So Peter has been in hospital for some time.  The acute side to his condition has settled somewhat but in order for his progress to be maintained and continued Peter needs a therapeutic residential ASD placement.  Everyone has agreed this.  Making it happen on the other hand is another issue altogether.  The impact on his … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 7

It Must Be Mum – Part 6

...And the crippling practice of the Local Authority Staff begins. Earlier parts of the book can be found here.  Peter (now age 10) was admitted to a Tier 4 CAMHS unit 150 miles away from home a few weeks earlier with, among other things, 'signs of school related trauma'.  He had previously been in mainstream education … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 6

The emotional impact on a parent

By Rosie and Jo’s mum I remember the first question I asked on a forum for parents of children with autism. It was “How do you find a way to switch off from the stress and worry?” We were in the early days of our journey, very soon after Rosie’s ASD diagnosis, school were being … Continue reading The emotional impact on a parent

It Must Be Mum – Part 5

Earlier parts of the book can be found here. Chapter 3 An accidental Expert? I had just wanted to be Peter's mum, that's all.  I wanted to drop him at school, help him with reading and homework and live a family life the rest of the time.  I had a 'big' job.  I was a clinician … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 5

It Must Be Mum – Part 4

In part 4 the extreme refusal by school staff to support Peter is explored, my incredible naivety is exposed as is the phenomenal arrogance of school staff.  I think all parents of children with SEN will relate to this! Earlier parts of the book can be found here. Spinning Heads - Chapter 2b Ever since … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 4

It Must Be Mum – Part 3

Peter is admitted to hospital 150 miles from home and has his 10th birthday there.  He undergoes the first six week of his assessment admission and recommendations about his future needs are made by the hospital team.  Some school staff continue to insist that he is 'fine' and their unconscious incompetence reaches an all time high...... Earlier … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 3

It Must Be Mum – Part 2

In Part two Peter's admission to hospital becomes inevitable - but where do you find a mental health bed for a 9 year old?  Lily's condition deteriorates and their mum turns to her friends for help, which doesn't turn out to well. Click here for Part 1 of 'It Must Be Mum'  Subtle Differences – … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 2

Requesting Information

Frequently asked questions from parents of children who have SEN are “Am I allowed to see information about my child?” and “How do I request information about my child?”. These questions we can answer - and also offer some tips, having been through the process ourselves. The legal stuff Your right to information about you … Continue reading Requesting Information

It Must Be Mum – Part 1

About this story  In just ten months Peter went from a boy who attended mainstream school unsupported, costing the taxpayer nothing in additional school resource, to being so broken by his school experiences he needed to be admitted to a psychiatric unit at just 9 years old.  As a result he is unlikely to ever … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 1